End-of-2019 reports a decline in the number of climate change skeptics. Some have directly experienced the disasters such as drought, floods, wild fires, and hurricanes, which dominated the news much of 2019 and the last decade. A study by the NY Times in January 2019 states that 73% of Americans believe that
Earth is warming and 62% understand that humans are mostly responsible. This is up 10% in both cases in a few short years.
Prior to that in October 2018 an IPCC report began to shake the sleeping bear. Climate scientists had discovered that dire consequences were happening sooner than they predicted and that serious action needed to happen within 12 years to keep Earth from overheating by 1.5 to 2 degrees centigrade. We are expected to hit 3 more degrees if serious change is not made. The number of degrees may sound small, but consider the Earth as having a fever, where a few degrees is huge. Some scientists fear a snowball effect, an ironic metaphor. Many catastrophes gain momentum as they continue.
One teenaged girl from Sweden in particular listened along with many other youth. I received a book of Greta Thunberg’s speeches in my Christmas stocking. Each one calls for adults to listen to the scientists and scolds inaction. The youth, who have the most to lose, conducted climate strikes worldwide while emissions continued to rise along with the number of disasters.
We have had the technology and the science to make the necessary changes for some time. Now, I’m hoping we have the political will.